Bangladesh should adopt smart manufacturing: analysts

Third from left, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu attends a discussion on smart manufacturing at Amari hotel in Dhaka yesterday. EMBASSY OF SWEDEN

Local manufacturers should embrace smart technologies to increase efficiency and productivity to help Bangladesh become a middle income nation by 2021 and a developed country by 2041, analysts said yesterday.

“Smart manufacturing creates new business models, services and markets,” said Charlotta Johnsson, associate professor for automatic control at Lund University in Sweden, at a seminar at Amari hotel in Dhaka.

Smart manufacturing is the ultimate destination, said Kazi M Aminul Islam, executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).

“If we adopt it we will be winners. If we don't, we will be left behind and will be losers.”

Their comments came at the seminar on “Making Bangladesh a next generation manufacturing hub”. The embassy of Sweden and the Business Sweden, the Swedish trade and investment council, jointly organised the programme.

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu invited Swedish companies to take advantage of the new economic opportunities to be created after setting up 100 planned special economic zones and hi-tech parks across the country.

“Swedish companies should provide the best possible technologies and solutions to our industries,” he said, requesting Swedish companies to share knowledge about smart manufacturing with local entrepreneurs.

The minister said the government would take further steps to develop advanced industries and an efficient and sustainable manufacturing sector.

Swedish ambassador to Bangladesh Johan Frisell said industries moving out of China are looking for a new destination, and Bangladesh is one of the attractive destinations.

But he said Bangladesh needs to look at how it could become more environment-friendly, save water and energy, and ensure occupational safety.

Smart manufacturing is a solution, said Frisell.

BIDA's Islam requested the industries minister to create a fund for research and development on smart manufacturing.

“The BIDA will also propose to the prime minister so the government comes up with support and incentives for entrepreneurs to promote smart manufacturing.”

Bangladesh's manufacturing sector is led by labour-intensive garments and food products.

However, Bangladesh will have to branch out to the sectors which are technology-intensive and more productive, said a number of speakers.


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